GM Brian Cashman says the Yankees are unlikely to trade for a rotation upgrade like Jose Quintana at this point, George A. King III of the New York Post writes. “I’m expecting we will go with what we got,” Cashman says. After Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia, the favorites for the last two rotation jobs appear to be Luis Severino and Bryan Mitchell, with Adam Warren Luis Cessa, Chad Green and perhaps rookie Jordan Montgomery in the mix as well. King notes that if Montgomery does make the team after spending much of 2016 at the Double-A level, he’s likely to pitch in long relief rather than starting. It perhaps isn’t surprising that the Yankees aren’t planning on trading for a high-profile starter like Quintana — while Quintana would be under team control for up to four years, making him a long-term asset, acquiring him would likely require the Yankees to part with a decent chunk of the young talent they’ve accumulated in recent trades. Here’s more from the East divisions.
- If the Braves attempt to add to their bench, they will likely do so via the trade route, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets. One possibility is that they could trade one out-of-options player for another, he adds. (Braves players who are out of options include Kevin Chapman, Chase d’Arnaud, Ian Krol, Jose Ramirez and Chaz Roe.) The Braves had previously been connected to outfielder Angel Pagan, although there’s reportedly nothing happening on that front at the moment. As MLBTR’s Jeff Todd noted in his recap of the Braves’ offseason, the team’s projected bench appears to be somewhat thin on hitting talent, with d’Arnaud potentially joining Jace Peterson, Emilio Bonifacio and a catcher in the Braves’ stash of reserves.
- Righty Hector Velazquez, whose contract the Red Sox recently purchased for $30K from the Mexican League, has struggled thus far in Spring Training. But the Red Sox are holding off on fully evaluating him, Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com writes. Between the Mexican League, the Mexican Pacific Winter League, and the Caribbean Series, Velazquez has made 46 starts and pitched 246 1/3 innings over the past year. During that time, he whiffed 242 batters while walking just 39. The Red Sox identified him as a possible target during the regular season, then sent their scouts to see him during the Caribbean Series. Red Sox exec Allard Baird cites Velazquez’s athleticism and relative youth (he’s 28) as traits they liked. (It doesn’t appear his velocity was overly impressive: “[H]e’s going to be a guy that has to command his pitches, not just control them but command them, and utilize his secondary stuff probably backwards at some point,” says Baird.) Due to his prior workload, he likely won’t be a factor in the early going, despite the Red Sox’ immediate need for starting pitching depth. He could, however, enter the big-league picture as the season progresses.